Picks and Pans Review: Blood Ties
Carpathians...that's what the well-heeled neck biters are called in this revamped vampire movie from director Jim (The Big Easy) McBride, in which the thirst for blood is less a contagion that it is an ethnic trait.
Through four generations in the U.S., these Eastern Europeans have evolved to the point that they go for the jugular only when they're fighting or sexually aroused. And because this movie is executive-produced by Dynasty creators Esther and Richard Shapiro, Carpathians also tend to be affluent and elegantly dressed. Most of them, anyway.
The younger set blatantly steals a page from the 1987 vampire film The Lost Boys by riding around on motorcycles in designer punk-rock garb. They have one original touch: Young Carpathians are constantly breaking into music video—meets-Gypsy troupe choreography.
While the female leads (Kim Johnston-Ulrich and Michelle Johnson) are weakly drawn, Harley Venton brings a light touch to the role of the reporter who wants his fellow Carpathians to blend into the American melting pot.
That's complicated because they're being chased around by stake-wielding zealots led by Bo Hopkins, made up like a stern biblical prophet. This movie is mind-blowingly dumb and overconceived but glossy and energetically entertaining.